Dehydration is not only dangerous but also potentially fatal. It occurs when a person loses large amounts of fluid from the body due to vomiting, diarrhea, intense or prolonged sweating, or simply not drinking sufficient amount of water.
When dehydration occurs, you might feel some muscle cramps at first, followed by feeling faint and dizzy. When there is no more fluid left in your body to transport blood to the organs, you will go into a shock, which can claim your life. Other triggers and early warning signs of dehydration include high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. You should also observe symptoms like dry mouth, sticky saliva, dark yellow urine, and unusual irritability.
Dehydration doesn't choose any age group. It can happen to babies, children, teenagers, adults and elders. It's important to note however that babies and smaller children are at greater risk of dehydration because they have higher metabolic rate, meaning their bodies utilize water more than adults. Their kidneys are also not that strong yet to conserve enough water.
Here are some preventive measures to keep in mind at all times.
Take in Plenty of Fluids
This is the most sensible advice you'll get when it comes to avoiding dehydration. Keep yourself hydrated with lots of fluids like water, milk and fruit juice, particularly before, during and after a physical activity. If you're going to exercise, do not forget to bring with you a bottle of water or sports drink and to take a water break at least 15 to 20 minutes in between.
Children should be encouraged to take plenty of liquid throughout the day. For parents who find it difficult to track down how many glasses of water their kids are drinking, just observe the color of your children's urine. If it is light yellow, it means your kid is taking in sufficient water. If it is dark yellow more than usual, it means that your kid should drink more water.
Stay Away from Alcohol and Caffeinated Drinks
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda because these beverages are diuretic, meaning they increase urine output, thus putting you at greater risk for dehydration. If you must drink any of these beverages, replace the lost fluids with water or fruit juice.
Avoid High Protein Diets
High protein diets may be good if you're on a muscle-building fitness program. But remember, this can make you more vulnerable to dehydration. If you cannot avoid this kind of diet, be sure to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration.